Design Museum launches entrepreneurs scheme for underrepresented designers

The 8-week Entrepreneurs Hub will mentor creatives who “may have felt locked out of design opportunities in the past”.

The Design Museum is seeking applicants for its newly-launched Entrepreneurs Hub, an accelerator programme for design-led start-ups from diverse backgrounds.

The 8-week programme will mentor participants, as well as offer business advice and exposure to industry leaders in the hope of turning business ventures into viable concepts.

According to the museum, the emphasis will be on mentoring start-ups from diverse disciplines and backgrounds.

These creative founders and designers may have an early idea or product, and design-led software and physical prototypes will be accepted as part of applications.

In total, 15 design-led start-ups will be chosen for the pilot scheme, which will be aimed at “creatives who may have felt locked out of design opportunities in the past”, the museum explains.

Sessions will include advice on business planning, setting finance goals, and legal and marketing considerations. Participants will be able to make use of the museum’s network and the course will conclude with a fundraising pitch.

Design Museum CEO Tim Marlow says: “The impact of COVID-19 has only widened the gap for creatives from underrepresented backgrounds, not least in London, which is the focus of this pilot programme.”

The scheme will prioritise designers from low-income backgrounds and who identify with underrepresented groups such as those with disabilities or who are neurodivergent. A monthly stipend of £800 will be offered to all participants.

Advisor for the scheme Sarah Drinkwater adds: “We hope this program brings together the next wave of design talent, from streetwear brands to apps.”

Deadlines for applications is 6pm on Monday 13 September. Sessions will run full-time from 4 October to 25 November.

For full details of the scheme and the application process, please visit the Design Museum’s website.

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